LEGO and Epic Games to build child-friendly "metaverse"

by Adam Fitch  ·  Updated 
LEGO and Epic Games to build child-friendly "metaverse"

Fortnite developer Epic Games has entered a 'long-term' partnership with The LEGO Group with the metaverse in mind.

The new meta: Children are the demographic of the two parties' plans.

  • Epic Games and LEGO want to "shape the future" of the metaverse and make it a safe and fun environment for children.
  • Described as a family-friendly digital experience, the product looks to provide children with access to "tools that will empower them to become confident creators" and "amazing play opportunities."
  • “Kids enjoy playing in digital and physical worlds and move seamlessly between the two," said Niels B Christiansen, CEO of The LEGO Group. "We believe there is huge potential for them to develop life-long skills such as creativity, collaboration and communication through digital experiences.
  • Epic Games is currently hiring for over 200 roles and it's safe to say that the company will have plenty of employees dedicated to building out its digital products and experiences just like this newly announced venture.

The specifics: They've laid out three principles that define their partnership.

  • Epic Games and LEGO believe they have to "protect children's right to play by making safety and wellbeing a priority."
  • By putting their best interests first, they'll aim to "safeguard children's privacy."
  • Once the environment is safe, they'll "empower children and adults with tools" that allow them to control their experience in the virtual world.

The conundrum: There are questions to be asked for every company working towards the metaverse.

  • If the metaverse is the combination of the physical and virtual worlds then it's fair to say we're already in the metaverse. What exactly are companies building if it already exists? Specificity is needed to mellow scepticism.
  • If much of the metaverse is digital then privacy and security have to be top of mind across the board. Data breaches and compromised systems are regular occurrences on the internet. If our identities, preferences, and behaviors are to be stored in the metaverse, how can and will they be protected?
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